Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calendar - Our Aluminum Christmas Tree

"Whether you decorate with blue or red balls . . . or use the tree without ornaments - this exquisite tree is sure to be the talk of your neighborhood. High luster aluminum gives a dazzling brilliance. Shimmering silvery branches are swirled and tapered to a handsome realistic fullness. It's really durable . . needles are glued and mechanically locked on. Fireproof . . you can use it year after year."--Sears 1963 Christmas Book

My first memory of a Christmas tree is from when I was a preschooler. The tree was bright shiny silver and made from aluminum tinsel. It sat in our living room in front of one of the windows by the tiny black and white TV. The tree in the picture is very much like the one I remember. 
Aluminum Tinsel-Tree
I couldn't tell you what kind, if any, ornaments were hanging on the tinsel tree. They weren't the magical part of it - the magic was in the special way the tree was lit. Because the tree was aluminum, traditional Christmas lights couldn't be used due to the possibility of creating a short-circuit and causing a fire. So, the tree was lit from below by a color-wheel. 

Vintage Color-Wheel

The color-wheel was a special fixture that projected light on the tree. A circle made from different colored plastic rotated in front of the light, casting colors onto the aluminum branches. My little sister and I would sit in front of the tree and watch as the tree changed from red, to green, to yellow, then blue. It was hypnotic, and we were a captive audience.


Greta Koehl said...

My mother bought an aluminum tree with the color wheel when I was about 12. I think she also decorated it with blue Christmas balls.

NoOceanInKansas said...

I LOVE aluminum trees! I just put ours up this evening.

Post a Comment